How To Get A Permit For The Mount Kailash Tour From Nepal

15 April, 2024 By Dambar Khadka


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Ready to start the Mount Kailash tour from Nepal? Mount Kailash is a peak in the Kailash Range, part of the Transhimalaya Range. Located near the border of India, China, and Nepal, it is not just famous for its natural beauty. Still, it is also considered sacred in four religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Bon, and Jainism. 

If you want further details regarding this Holy place, dive into this article. We discuss the mountain overview, permits, routes, and documents required for a successful travel.

Introduction to Mount Kailash Tour From Nepal

Located at 6,714 meters (22,028 ft), Mount Kailash is close to Mansarovar and Rakshastal lakes. In Sanskrit, people know this mountain as Kailasa, which means ‘crystal.’ Although it is not the highest mountain, people revere it for its religious significance and unique pyramidal shape. The mountain, with its four faces, symbolizes the four cardinal directions.

Mount kailash

Are you planning on getting to Mount Kailash? If so, you must know that you need permits to enter the Tibet Region, home to Mount Kailash. The Government of China controls the licenses. It is best to book your tour with a reputable company that can easily handle the permit process. You can also consider us. Visas are also required for many nationalities, so include that in your planning.

Knowing about the Mount Kailash Tour

Mount Kailash is a pilgrimage site for followers of different nationalities, from Hundisium and Buddhism to Bon and Jainism. Hindus believe Kailash is the abode of Lord Shiva, who resides there with his consort, Parvati, and their children, Ganesha and Kartikeya. Also, people believe Mount Meru is the stairway to Svarge, a heaven where devas reside.

Mount Kailash Tour from Nepal

According to Ashtapada, it is a place where their first Tirthakara achieved mokshya (liberation). His son, Emperor Bharat, built three stupas and 24 shrines in the region, each dedicated to one of the twenty-four Tirthankaras. God Indra transported the 24th and final Tirthankara to the summit of Mount Meru and bathed and anointed them with recruits.

In Buddhism, Mount Kailasa is also Kailasa. People refer to the mythical Mount Meru as it. It holds significant importance in Buddhist cosmology and is a major pilgrimage tour for certain Buddhist traditions. Padmasambhava, a revered figure, has many places in the area linked to him. Many believe his spiritual practices in sacred sites across Tibet solidified Buddhism as a primary religion in the 7th to 8th century CE.

It is also significant for the Bon religion, which predates Buddhism in Tibet. Kailash is also considered a sacred mountain in Bon tradition, with its rich set of myths, rituals, and pilgrimage practices.

Route Options and Highlights

There currently is no operational route to Mount Kailash from Nepal for travel. The Nepali government has yet to open a route for various reasons, including political issues with China and the rugged terrain. However, there are some other routes via Tibet you can take to reach Kailash. We will discuss them below.

Kathmandu to Simikot

This route starts from Simikot, a remote town in the Humla district of Nepal. From there, you can take a helicopter tour to Hilsa or even go on a week-long trekking trip to reach Hilsa, a small village on the Tibetian border near Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar. It is the fastest yet most enjoyable route.

Kerung Border Crossing

Another possibility is a land route that crosses the border at Kerung. You can take a bus or car from Kathmandu to the border town of Kerung and then continue onwards to Taklakot (Darcehn) on the Chinese side. This route would be the most scenic but may require special permits and be challenging due to the high altitude.

Lasha Flight

You can take a flight if you are looking for the most simple and easy way to reach his holy mountain. However, it is one of the most expensive methods. You can fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, and then join a group for the overland journey. This route is the most established but involves spending time in China before reaching Nepal.

Understanding Permit Requirements

Since Mount Kailash is in Tibet, part of China, visitors must obtain a permit to visit Mount Kailash. Here is a breakdown of the needed and the documents required:

Overview of Required Permits

To enter Mount Kailash, you will need a combination of permits. Here are the major ones:

Chinese Visa

This is mandatory for all foreign visitors entering China, including Tibet. Visa requirements vary by nationality, so research yours well in advance.

Tibet Travel Permit (TTP)

This travel permit for Mount Kailash is an essential document for entering the Tibet Autonomous Region. It would help if you had the opportunity to travel to Tibet. You cannot obtain this permit independently; a licensed travel agency must handle it. The Tibet Tourism Bureau issues the Tibet Travel Permit.

Alien’s Travel Permit (ATP)

Foreigners must obtain an additional permit to visit Mount Kailash outside the Lhasa Region. Travelers can apply for the Aliens Travel Permit. The local authorities in Tibet tour issue this permit through a licensed travel agency.

Military Permit (MPS)

Mount Kailas in Ngari Prefecture is considered a military-sensitive area. Licensed travel agencies in Tibet issue the Military Permit that travelers can only obtain through them.

Foreign Affairs Permit (FAP)

To travel to some remote, susceptible locations, including Mt. Kailash and eastern Tibet, you will require a Foreign Affair Permit in addition to a Military Travel Permission. The Lhasa Foreign Affairs Office issues these permits.

Documentations Required for Permit Applications

The exact documents required can vary depending on the travel agency you choose. However, here are some of the general requirements:

  • Valid passport: Your passport must have at least six months remaining validity from your travel date.
  • Chinese Vasa: As mentioned earlier, you need a valid Chinese visa if traveling to Tibet from mainland China.
  • Photos: You will likely need to provide a few recent passport-sized photos.
  • Travel itinerary: Provide a detailed travel itinerary of your trip to Tibet, including dates and locations.
  • Health certificate: Some agencies might request a medical certificate proving that you are fit and healthy to travel to a higher altitude.
  • Other documents: Depending on your travel plans, you may also need to provide other documents, such as a travel insurance policy.

Applying for Permits

Obtaining permits to enter Tibet and Mount Kailash is a mandatory process. Due to the complexities involved, it’s best to go through a registered company. Here’s a breakdown of both options.

Through a Registered Tour Operator

One of the best and most recommended approaches is getting the permit through a registered tour operator. Their experience and skills help you navigate the permit process efficiently. The agency you hire handles all the necessary chores, including paperwork, communication with Chinese, and documentation. This saves you time, effort, and headaches.

All agencies tend to maintain good relationships with the local authorities; thus, their connection can help increase your chances of obtaining permits more smoothly. Besides helping with your permits, opting for agency companies provides valuable support throughout your trip, including logistics, accommodations, meals, and guided service.

How can you apply for a Mount Kailash travel permit through registered companies? Here’s how:

Always choose a reputable company. You can look at the website and reviews of its previous clients and find out their experience, experience, and permit success rate. Also, for an alternative, you can directly contact the company and ask for their tour package service to Mount Kailash, including permit application service.

After choosing the best agency, please provide them with all your passport details, travel itinerary, and other required documents. The agency will then handle the permit application process and update you on the status.

Individual Application Process

Applying for the permit application is not recommended as it involves multiple permits, each with specific requirements and application procedures. Also, speaking Mandarin is only some people’s tea, leading to communication barriers. Arranging everything yourself and completing the application process can be complex and time-consuming. While it is technically possible to apply for permits yourself, the complexities and limitations make it risky for many travelers.

Permit Costs and Fees

The exact cost can vary depending on the travel agency and your nationality. Here is a breakdown of what the cost may look like:

  • Chinese Visa: The cost varies depending on your nationality. You can research the visa fee for your country through the nearest Chinese embassy or its website.
  • Tibet Travel Permit (TTP): ranges from $50 to %100.
  • Ailen’s Travel Permit (ATP): Typically costs around RMB 50 (approximately $7)
  • Military Permits and Foreign Affairs: The combined price of two permits is around RMB 100 (roughly $15).

Restrictions and Regulations

Some significant restrictions while planning your trip to Mount Kailash:

Age: Generally, people between 18 and 70 can go on the Kailash tour. Travelers above 70 may require additional medical clearance. While children below 12 are typically not allowed due to challenging high altitude.

Fitness: Located at a high altitude of 6,700 m, you must be physcially fit to reach the destination. Be prepared for steep walks and the effect of thin air. You may also get altitude sickness. Some tour operators also ask for a doctor’s certification.

Climbing: Climbing Mount Kailash is strictly prohibited because of its religious significance. The Kailash pilgrimage tour focuses on circumnavigating (kora) the mountain, not reaching the summit.

Regulations

  • Littering and causing environmental damage is strictly prohibited in this fragile ecosystem.
  • As a sacred site for multiple religions, respect local customs and traditions.
  • Dress modestly, avoid loud noises, and follow the established rituals.
  • Flying drones in the Mount Kailash region is typically prohibited due to safety and environmental concerns.
  • Traveling with a tour guide is sometimes mandatory as they ensure safety and provide cultural insights.

Tips for Smooth Permit Application Process

Following tips and choosing the best travel company can increase your chances of obtaining a smooth permit application process. Planning goes a long way in ensuring a seamless and unforgettable journey.

Choosing a Travel Agency

Always look for a reputable and experienced travel agency with a proven track record of successful permit applications. Read online reviews and seek recommendations from previous clients to understand the company’s reliability and efficiency. Carefully review the Mount Kailash tour package before selecting one.

Preparing the Application

You need to start early, at least 3-4 months before you travel to Mount Kailash. This allows ample time for processing and potential days. Before applying, ensure you have all the necessary documents, valid Chinese visa copies, and a travel itinerary. Also, make sure you have a medical certification confirming your fitness.

Communication and Follow-up

Provide complete and detailed information regarding your travel details to your agency. Regularly communicate and inquire about the application process, especially as your travel date approaches. Additionally, unforeseen circumstances may cause delays in permit times, requiring flexibility.

Preparing for the Journey

If you plan your trip to Mount Kailash, prepare for a physically and mentally rewarding journey. Embrace the challenges and let the spiritual significance of this pilgrimage touch you.

Physical preparation: Climbing high altitudes requires a high level of fitness. Exercise regularly two to three months before your travel date, including cardiovascular activities like hiking and leg exercises.

Altitude Acclimatization: Altitude sickness is a severe risk. Plan your trip to include proper acclimatization time in Tibet before attempting Mount Kailash Kora.

Gear and Equipment: Pack warm and waterproof clothing layers, including thermal and comfortable hiking pants. Wear sturdy boots with good ankle support and pack essentials like a headlamp, first aid kit, water, and snacks.

Travel Insurance: Invest in comprehensive travel insurance, including medical evacuation coverage.

Local Currency: Carry enough Chinese Yuan for your trip, as credit cards may only be widely accepted in some places.

Research Loack Customs: Familiarize yourself with a few basic Tibetian phrases. It can enhance your communication skills and cultural experience.

Stay Hydrated: Drink Planet of Fluids throughout the journey to avoid dehydration. Stay slow and maintain a steady pace during the trek. Don’t push yourself hard.

Conclusion

As a whole, Mount Kailash is not just a scenic trekking route but also a renowned holy site for many religions. By approaching this pilgrimage with respect, preparation, and a sense of adventure, you can embark on a transformative experience that will stay with you forever. 

Obtaining the required travel authorizations ensures a smooth journey to Mount Kailash. To avoid any issues, apply for the permits through an authorized travel agent. Don’t forget to obtain all necessary licenses before embarking on your trek to Mount Kailash.

We hope this post has provided valuable information regarding the travel permits needed for the Mount Kailash Pilgrimage. Remember that spiritual journeys are about the destination and the journey itself. Make the most of every moment of your Mount Kailash trip and return with a renewed sense of purpose.

We hope you will find our little list helpful. If you want to hike or trek in Nepal, Boundless Adventures is here to help. For booking or any inquiries, you can contact us anytime!

Dambar Khadka

Dambar Khadka, a passionate adventurer and the founder of Boundless Adventure Nepal, has spent his entire life writing about nature and Nepal's developing tourism business. Dambar's passion with nature and its different cultures began as a child in Nepal's stunning landscapes. He began writing following successful treks and expeditions across Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan. Dambar Khadka created Boundless Adventure Nepal in 1992 to share the majesty of the Nepal Himalayas with the rest of the planet. As an explorer and writer, he is committed to responsible tourism and cultural connection, allowing readers and adventurers to immerse themselves in Nepal's enchantment through his works.

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